Marvel Studios Just Changed Bruce Banner’s Tragic Origin In the MCU

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Mark Ruffalo, Hulk

Marvel Studios finally has the opportunity to revisit the MCU's Incredible Hulk thanks to She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, whose first two episodes are now streaming on Disney+. While Mark Ruffalo has had plenty of time to shine and grow in his roles as Bruce Banner and his angry green alter-ego over the years, She-Hulk brings him back into the spotlight for a key supporting role in Phase 4.

Banner was an integral part of Jennifer Walters' origin story that was shown in Episode 1, as a Sakaaran-induced car accident led to Bruce's gamma-infused blood getting into Jen's system and giving her superpowers. While this was a bit of a diversion from how Jen turned into She-Hulk in the comics, it gave her the same connection to her cousin, who even got to use that incident to return to full strength as Smart Hulk.

She-Hulk, Bruce Banner

Now, Episode 2 has even given some more details about Bruce Banner's own origin story, which sees some slight adjustments as that history becomes clearer within the MCU.

Bruce Banner's Origin Story Teased in She-Hulk

Warning - The rest of this article contains minor spoilers from Episode 2 of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.

In Episode 2 of Marvel Studios' She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Jennifer Walters joins some of her family for a family dinner night after they learn about her accident and her new superhero status. This includes a woman referred to as Rebecca, who is played by Elizabeth Becka in the series.

Aunt Rebecca, She-Hulk
Marvel Studios

In the episode's credits sequence, Becka is credited as Aunt Rebecca, indicating that this is actually Bruce Banner's own mother from the comics.

She-Hulk credits
Marvel Studios

Her appearance alone in this series marks a drastic change to Bruce Banner's origin story from the comics, as Rebecca is actually killed by Bruce's father, Brian in the original tale.

The elder Banner was shown as mentally and physically abusive through many of the Hulk's comic stories, killing her after she tries to escape their household by pushing her down to the ground right in front of Bruce.

Hulk Comics
Marvel Comics

This led to Bruce repressing his personality and shutting off his emotions, which became a key part of his own origin story as he held back his anger and resentment before the gamma radiation turned him into the Hulk.

This unresolved anger towards his mother's death would become intrinsically linked to Bruce's rageful Hulk, a trait seemingly not shared with the MCU's incarnation

Hulk Comics
Marvel Comics


Will Bruce's Origin Be Addressed In the Future?

2008's The Incredible Hulk actually took a big swing upon its debut by not showing Bruce Banner's full origin story, only including some of it in the movie's opening credits sequence. This left plenty of mystery in place behind what Bruce's MCU origins actually look like, although this inclusion confirms that the man behind the Hulk grew up much differently than his comic counterpart.

With Bruce now blasting out into the vast reaches of space after being seen on the same Sakaaran ship from Episode 1, there may not be a chance to revisit his own solo story as Jen's adventure takes the spotlight.

Thankfully, if rumors are to be believed, Ruffalo will get to take on a new Hulk movie within the next couple of years after Marvel Studios gains the full distribution rights to the character back. Hopefully, should this happen, it will allow the MCU to give fans a look into Bruce Banner's unexplored backstory, especially with the character still seemingly sticking around through later parts of the Multiverse Saga.

The first two episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law are now available to stream on Disney+.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.